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Momentous is a relatively new sports supplements brand, founded in 2016 by Harvard University graduate and fitness enthusiast Matt Wan. His goal was to change the industry by creating high-quality products made from simple and lab-tested ingredients, without the garbage you often find in other supplements.
I reached out to Momentous near the end of 2019, and the company was kind enough to send me a few samples of its protein powder to try for this review.
My goal with this article was to find out if Momentous is a product I’d consider buying or recommending to friends and family, and to see how it compares to some of the other protein powders I’ve reviewed in the past.
How to Determine the Quality of Protein Supplements
Before we get into the actual Momentous review, it’s important to understand the basic characteristics that determine the quality of protein supplements. Once you know what to look out for, it’s much easier to determine whether a particular protein powder is worth considering.
If you want to skip the next part, you can jump right to the review.
- Natural flavors
- Plant-based thickening agents
- Natural emulsifiers
- Non-caloric, natural sweeteners
- Natural flow agents
- Added sugar
- Artificial flavors
- Artificial sweeteners
- Proprietary blends
One of the most important aspects of any food product is its ingredients. When I started following a Paleolithic diet (and later, a paleo/ketogenic diet), one of the things I learned was to carefully examine the label of any food I buy.
The sports nutrition market is flooded with mostly crappy and ineffective products that big brands market to consumers using claims that have no scientific basis.
As far as protein powders are concerned, the fewer ingredients a product has, the better it usually is. Here are some of the ingredients you’ll typically find in flavored protein supplements, besides the actual protein:
- Natural flavors — ideally made from dehydrated fruit extracts, cacao powder, etc.
- Plant-based thickening agents — improves the consistency of the shake after mixing the powder with a liquid.
- Emulsifiers — makes the powder mix with water more easily.
- Non-caloric sweeteners — natural sweeteners that don’t raise your blood sugar.
- Natural flow agents — prevents the protein powder from clumping.
With some exceptions, what you don’t want to see on the ingredient label of your protein powder are any of the following:
- Added sugars.
- Artificial flavors.
- Artificial sweeteners.
- Proprietary blends that lack any scientific evidence for their effectiveness.
- High-heat processed
- Chemically processed
The processing method of a protein supplement is arguably as important as the ingredients themselves. Protein powders processed using high heat or harsh chemicals result in low-quality products that are less effective than their carefully-processed counterparts.
That’s why many brands that make high-quality whey protein use a “cold processing” method to extract the protein from the milk.
What cold processing basically means is that the raw milk is pasteurized at the minimum temperature the FDA permits (160 degrees Fahrenheit). Most manufacturers pasteurize at 200 F, which is less expensive and leads to a lower risk of contamination.
While the difference of only 40 degrees might sound insignificant, more amino acids are destroyed or denatured at 200 F than at 160 F.
Source of Protein
- Grass-fed or pasture-raised
- Organically-grown plants
If you’re a health-conscious consumer (as I am), you probably aim to buy predominantly grass-fed meat and organic produce, because you know they’re healthier than their grain-fed and conventionally-grown counterparts.
When I buy protein, I make sure it was made from the milk of grass-fed cows (in the case of whey protein) or organic plants (in the case of plant protein).
Lab Tests and Certifications
- NSF Certified for Sport
- Informed-Sport – Trusted by Sport
- Other third-party certifications
- No third-party certifications
As I mentioned above, the sports supplements market is highly unregulated. In a nutshell, that means that as long as the product doesn’t cause any (obvious) health issues, manufacturers have a lot of freedom with regard to what they can claim on the label.
Practically, that means that the ingredients you see on the label might not actually be in the product, or might not be present in the amounts the manufacturer claims.
In a worst-case scenario, the product may contain ingredients that are banned by the World Anti Doping Association (WADA). That might not be an issue for a hobby athlete, but if you’re competing in sanctioned events it could have catastrophic consequences.
Now that you understand the basic quality principles of protein powder, let’s jump into the Momentous protein powder review.
Momentous Protein Powder Review
As of this writing, Momentous offers three different whey protein powders, as well as one plant-based option. Before we go into the details of all four of those products, let’s quickly talk about the pros and cons they all have in common.
High-Quality and Effective Ingredients
The ingredients in all four Momentous protein supplements have been carefully sourced and selected for their quality and effectiveness.
We’ll get into more details as we examine each supplement type individually, but here are a few examples of what makes Momentous protein stand out:
- The whey formulas use whey protein isolate instead of concentrate. Whey isolate is a purer form of whey with fewer impurities than whey concentrate.
- All whey formulas use exclusively protein from grass-fed cow’s milk.
- All whey formulas contain ProHydrolase™ —an enzyme that helps the body metabolize the protein more quickly and reduce the chance of bloating.
- The plant protein uses a perfect ratio of pea and rice protein for maximum effectiveness and bioavailability.
In a nutshell, there isn’t much to complain about as far as the ingredients in Momentous are concerned. The only thing I would point out is that some of the ingredients in some of the flavored options aren’t organic.
Third-party testing is crucial if you’re an athlete who competes in sanctioned events. It’s just not worth the risk of using a supplement that might contain — by accident or otherwise — a banned substance you didn’t know about.
But even for serious fitness enthusiasts and casual athletes, lab-testing and certifications have benefits. I want to know what I’m taking, and I want to be certain that the product actually contains what the label says (and in the amounts specified).
If you don’t know those two pieces of information, you might be wasting your money on an ineffective or under-dosed formula.
So I appreciate that Momentous carries the following certifications:
Flavors and Taste
All Momentous protein powders are available in either vanilla or chocolate flavor. Additionally, the AbsoluteZero Grass Fed Whey is also available unflavored.
I tried the chocolate and vanilla flavors, and both were absolutely delicious. My wife actually tried the Strength Recovery Whey Protein formula first and immediately pointed out that it’s the best-tasting protein powder she’s had so far.
Of course, everybody has different tastes. But between vanilla and chocolate, I’m confident that you can find a flavor you like. Plus, you can always opt for the plain, unflavored whey protein and mix it with fruits, cocoa powder or other ingredients of your liking.
If you’re wondering why the plant protein isn’t available unflavored, check out the FAQ section below.
Most supplements are produced in shared production environments that pose a risk of cross-contamination — even if the product doesn’t contain ingredients that are natural sources of gluten.
Momentous manufactures its protein powders in a certified gluten-free environment, and the company tests its product to ensure they’re free of the substance.
That means that you can safely consume these protein powders whether you have celiac disease or are just sensitive to trace amounts of gluten.
|AbsoluteZero Grass-Fed Whey||$70.00||24|
|ArcFire Grass-Fed Whey||$55.00||14|
|RedShift Grass-Fed Whey||$55.00||14|
|AbsoluteZero 100% Plant||$60.00||20|
Sourcing only the highest-quality ingredients, carefully processing them, and having them lab-tested for safety and effectiveness comes at a price.
As a result, Momentous Whey Protein is likely more expensive than what you’re used to buying when shopping for protein powder on Amazon or at your local GNC store.
My view on price vs. value is relatively simple: if you’re an elite athlete who needs to supplement with protein to push the boundaries of what’s physically possible, Momentous protein is worth every cent.
If you casually drop into the gym three times a week with the goal of looking better in the mirror, I would argue that you don’t need any protein supplements at all. Change your lifestyle habits so that you eat well and sleep well, and your physique will change as a result.
How do I know that? Mine has… without relying on supplements.
If you’re somewhere in between those two extremes, give Momentous a try and see how it works for you.
Momentous Protein Powder Types
As I mentioned above, Momentous currently offers four different types of protein supplements in its lineup. The following sections cover each of them in more detail.
Essential Grass-Fed Whey Protein
- Cold Processed
- Available unflavored or flavored
- Includes digestive enzymes to improve absorbability
Out of the four different protein options Momentous offers, the Essential Grass-fed Whey (Momentous calls it AbsoluteZero) is probably my favorite, because it best-matches my dietary habits and active lifestyle.
What I like most about this protein powder is that I can choose between an unflavored version that I can mix into shakes or smoothies, and a delicious flavored version that comes in chocolate or vanilla.
If you’re a purist, you’ll love the unflavored version, which provides 22.3 grams of grass-fed whey protein isolate with no other ingredients than ProHydrolase™ and some silica (an anti-caking agent that prevents clumping of the powder).
If you’re concerned about “sand” (aka silica) in food supplements, you should know that silica naturally occurs in drinking water and many fruits and veggies.
The flavored options contain natural flavors (chocolate or vanilla), guar gum (thickener), salt, sunflower lecithin (emulsifier) and stevia (a natural sweetener).
One of the major differentiators between Momentous and other natural whey protein powders is the inclusion of an enzyme — ProHydrolase™ — that helps the body break down protein quicker.
Humans were first exposed to milk protein only about 10,000 years ago. That’s a very short timeframe in the grander scheme of evolution. That’s why not everybody can efficiently digest whey protein.
The inclusion of digestive enzymes, such as ProHydrolase™, significantly increases the absorbability of the protein and reduces the chance of bloating.
Strength Recovery Whey Protein
- Extra carbs and sugars to enhance recovery
- 1.25 grams of creatine
- 2.5 grams of l-glutamine
- Contains magnesium and potassium
ArcFire — the strength recovery formula from Momentous — shares most of the benefits of the classic formula (AbsoluteZero), with some notable exceptions.
Intensive strength training empties the body’s muscle glycogen stores. So it’s up to you to help your body with replenishing those stores. You can do that in one of two ways.
The slow way is to wait for gluconeogenesis to kick in. That’s the process through which the body converts non-carbohydrates — such as protein — into glycogen. Since I’m on a ketogenic paleolithic diet paired with intermittent fasting, that’s usually what I do after a workout. In other words, I usually don’t eat anything before or after I hit the gym.
I admit that from a performance perspective, that’s not the ideal method because it slows down my recovery. You can read more about the reasons why I still do it in my article discussing the best diet for improving endurance and strength.
The faster way to replenish empty glycogen stores is to provide the body with high-quality carbohydrates.
That’s where ArcFire comes in. It contains rice maltodextrin, dextrose and ribose — three sugar-like substances that your body can metabolize at different rates to improve recovery.
Additionally, ArcFire contains both the amino acid l-glutamine and creatine monohydrate. The latter is a popular ingredient in pre-workout supplements.
In a nutshell, creatine increases power output, improves lean mass gain, reduces fatigue and decreases muscle damage. To learn more about creatine, check out the article I linked in the paragraph above.
L-glutamine has several scientifically proven benefits. Momentous includes this amino acid in its recovery formula because of the role it plays in supplying nitrogen to muscle tissue to improve protein synthesis.
Last but not least, Momentous’ strength recovery formula contains extra calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium — electrolytes your body needs for recovery after a strenuous workout session.
Endurance Recovery Whey Protein
- 30 grams of carbs and sugars to enhance recovery
- 4 grams of d-ribose
- 25% DV of magnesium
RedShift is the endurance recovery formula from Momentous. You might wonder about the difference between RedShift and ArcFire, since both are recovery formulas.
The biggest difference between these two formulas is the number of carbohydrates you get with each serving. ArcFire has only 14 grams of carbs, whereas RedShift has a whopping 30 grams that come in the form of rice maltodextrin, dextrose and d-ribose.
If you’re a carb-adapted athlete — as opposed to being fat-adapted — your body has an increased demand for carbs after an intense cardio workout (such as a race).
RedShift fulfills that demand by providing 30 grams of carbs, including 15 grams of sugar.
What you don’t find in RedShift is creatine and l-glutamine, because neither provides many benefits for recovery after a cardio workout.
Essential Plant Protein
- Perfect ratio of pea and rice protein
- Excellent taste
- Complete amino acid profile
- Protein sources not organic
- Contains cane sugar
AbosoluteZero 100% Plant is, as the name implies, an entirely plant-based protein formula consisting of 21.34 grams of pea protein and 3 grams of rice protein per serving.
The combination of pea and rice protein is crucial because individual plant proteins usually don’t have a complete amino acid profile. That means individual plants don’t contain all the essential amino acids the body needs to function.
That’s why it’s important to combine different sources of plant protein for a full amino acid profile and better bioavailability.
Personally, I side with evolution in thinking that plants are not the best source of protein for the human body. But I respect that there are those who prefer to not consume animal products. That’s where this protein powder can help!
I haven’t had a chance to try AbsoluteZero 100% Plant yet, but I’ve been told that this is one of the few vegan protein powders that actually tastes good.
To make that happen, Momentous uses organic cane sugar and stevia as natural sweeteners for both the chocolate and vanilla flavor. Additionally, Momentous also includes MCT oil powder to up the fat and fine-tune the taste and texture.
Frequently Asked Questions
The main reason is that unflavored plant protein doesn’t have a favorable taste. In other words, nobody would buy it — except for some vegan purists, perhaps.
That’s why the Momentous AbsoluteZero 100% Plant protein is only available in Piedmont Chocolate or Vanilla Chai flavor. I haven’t tried either, but other reviewers have raved about how good they taste.
If you’ve read my review of natural protein powders you might remember that timing your protein intake is challenging because the body can only absorb so much protein per hour. That’s because the body has to break down protein in peptides and then amino acids before it can deliver it to muscle cells.
The pancreatic enzymes that are responsible for breaking down protein molecules are called protease. Momentous whey contains a special version of that enzyme —ProHydrolase™ — that helps the body digest protein in bio-usable form.
As a result, your body can absorb Momentous whey protein quicker and more efficiently than other protein supplements.
Yes, it does. I always use a Blender Bottle* and shake the mixture for a few seconds before enjoying it.
When you mix Momentous protein with water (or another liquid) and shake it vigorously, you’ll notice a foam buildup. That’s mainly because the product doesn’t contain any antifoaming agents, as you would find in other protein powders.
The foam usually disappears if you let your mixer bottle stand for a minute, but it has never bothered me.
I don’t know who came up with the misguided notion that consuming protein shakes can help with weight loss. Losing weight is a byproduct of a healthy diet, sufficient quality sleep and regular exercise.
A protein supplement is the last tool I’d consider if my goal was to lose a few pounds. Instead, I’d consider assuming (and sustaining) a low-carb high-fat diet, such as a ketogenic diet, paired with intermittent fasting.
You definitely need protein to build muscle tissue, but unless you’re a competitive athlete with higher demands on protein intake than regular food can provide, you probably don’t need to supplement.
If you’re a regular Joe like me, you should be getting sufficient protein from the food you eat. If you’re not, then something is wrong with your diet. That doesn’t mean you can’t have protein shakes if you enjoy drinking them, but not having them won’t prevent you from building muscles.
It’s a misconception that too much protein can kick you out of ketosis. Gluconeogenesis — the process of making glucose from such sources as protein — is demand-driven rather than supply-driven.
So don’t worry and keep enjoying your protein shakes, even if you already get sufficient protein from meat and other whole-food sources.
Many of the big protein brands on the market have endorsements from elite athletes, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that those athletes actually use the product.
Momentous is actually used by pro athletes and the team making Momentous consists of former Olympians and elite dietitians and coaches.
Momentous claims to have the highest-quality and cleanest whey and plant protein supplement on the market. When I first read that statement, I was skeptical because I have reviewed other natural protein powders that seemed pretty “clean” to me.
Now that I know more about Momentous, its ingredients and its processing methods, I’d say that the company has an incredibly high-quality and clean product that I’d recommend to friends, family and readers.
What I think makes Momentous stand out over other high-quality and clean protein powders is the clever combination of ingredients — such as ProHydrolase™ — that makes an already excellent product even more effective.
Paired with a delicious taste and texture, there’s no reason not to use Momentous if you’re a serious athlete.